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Interview with Class of 1937(Carson/Smith/Rogers/Harlow Huffman), February 18, 1995 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Class of 1937(Carson/Smith/Rogers/Harlow Huffman), February 18, 1995
February 18, 1995
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Class of 1937(Carson/Smith/Rogers/Harlow Huffman) Interviewer: Date of Interview: 2/18/1995 Series: Southeast North Carolina (SENC) Length

Note: Interviewee is used when transcriptionist is not sure who is talking.

Carson: The old Southport high school, we started the school together in 1926. We graduated together in 1937. There’s some more of us still living, but they’re not here today. We couldn’t get them. The other one here is here on special invitation. She’s from the class of ’54, but we invited her because she had some pictures that we wanted her to show us on the good old days in Southport. I just brought this along as a starter for our conversation. This is a songbook that we always used with our chapel programs of old Southport High.

Every morning when we went to school, we gathered in front of the school and marched in to piano music. Miss Helen McMillan was playing the piano, I mean really bouncing on it. Then we would go in and sing and have programs. Now these are going to tell you who they were when they started school and who they are now.

Rogers: Alright, I started school Eleanora Hickman. I am now Eleanora, Nonnie nickname, Rogers.

Smith: I am Helen Dean Sutton and married now to Francis W. Smith.

Marlowe: I’m Mary Catherine Norbert and I’m married to Robert Marlowe.

Carson: And incidentally Robert was in our class too. I was Susie Sellars back in 1926 and I’m now Susie Carson and this is Trudy Huffam, our guest.

HUFFAM: I was Trudy McNeill.

Carson: She’s from the Charles Goss family related to the founder of the town. That’s another reason we wanted her in this. I wanted them to come and talk about some of the things that we used to do in our regular classes. Nonnie, you go ahead and tell them what you call me. I think that might be interesting to these two.

Rogers: Susie was the smart…

Carson: No, the big mouth.

Rogers: No, she was smart. Instead of spending a lot of time at the window grinding away pencils, she studied hard so we relied on her to give us the answers to questions that we didn't take time to look up. So once when another classmate who has passed away was going with me across the street to put together a Tin Lizzie heater that had been donated by some merchant in town for the girls basketball team, we ran back up the stairs to see what the teacher, if they had missed us and to see what they were talking about.

The classmate who has passed on who was with me at the time, Thelma Johnson, said, “Nonnie, go in and ask her if she’s giving it out”. Susie was busy talking and would not turn around and talk to me. So I went back and told Thelma we should go across the street and we would come back in a little while.

We ran back across the street, Susie was still talking. Thelma went in and came out and I asked her if she got the answers. She said she hadn’t, all Susie was doing was buzz, buzz, buzz, just wanted to talk. We went back across the street to see if we were about to burn down the Army Navy building cause we were getting the heater going and it was going buzz, buzz, buzz. Thelma turned and looked and me and said, “Nonnie, I don’t think it’s going to do anything but buzz. It’s just like Susie” (laughter).

So we named her from then on, Buzz. I don’t remember the Ginny part. Susie would remember that. She said we later added the Buzzing Ginny because we were studying the cotton ginny, but she has always been Buzz to me. She was dear to all the class cause she supplied answers to a lot of our questions. That is part of the class of ’37 that has stuck to me and until this day, she’s just Buzz Carson.

Carson: You forgot to tell them Nonnie why you were going across the street to light the fire in the heater. Tell them what it was.

Rogers: Yes, for the girls basketball team.

Carson: We played ball over there.

Rogers: In the old Army Navy building and our dressing room was a room onto the Army Navy club where you either froze to death or played basketball in your clothes.

Interviewer: Nonnie, tell them where was the Army Navy Club at that time.

Rogers: Where that building is now, where the post office is. It’s the Masonic Lodge that had been the Army Navy Club during World War I and we were still referring to it as the Army Navy Club.

Rogers: Across the street from the school where our school burned, now is our post office.

Carson: The attachment to the Masonic building was the gymnasium. Nonnie, you were born in Southport weren’t you?

Rogers: Yes.

Carson: But Helen Dean, you tell us about what you were doing here, what your folks were doing here.

Smith: Mother and my dad came here right after they were married. My dad was in the Man Haden business with Mr. Charlie Goss, Trudy’s grandfather. I started school in what is now the city hall, wasn’t it.

Carson: No, it’s Franklin Square.

Smith: Things change so fast down here when you stay away. Anyway I started school there and I would like to mention our first grade teacher, Marilene Armott who attended our 50th reunion with us. She was still here.

Carson: No, it was the 30th we had in ’67.

Smith: But then she came again.

Carson: Oh, that’s right, she was here for that other one.

Smith: They brought her from the home. I missed all of those up to the 50th and so I was so impressed to see our first grade teacher.

Carson: I thought you were at the first one we had over at …

Smith: I was in Louisiana at the time.

Carson: Now you tell us a little bit about your family. Tell them about your grandpa.

Marlowe: My grandfather came from Wilmington. He worked the rock in the daytime and came to Southport during the night and worked with the Hood brothers. They were here and they had the _____ Building which is Northrup store.

Carson: That’s why I want her to bring in Northrup’s Mall or store then.

Marlowe: The two older Hood brothers wanted to go back to their home up north so grandfather bought that store. The younger Hood brother, he had the little store that was above State Port Pilot, where the bus station was, that was a dry goods store and the younger Hood brother had it.

Anyway when daddy started Northrup’s store, my father went to work for my grandfather.

Interviewee: Also mention about your grandfather’s home that was in the movie Crimes of the Heart.

Marlowe: In 1914, my father and my grandfather and Mr. Morrison Brinkman, who was uncle to Elizabeth ____, they started the house that is now known as the Crime of Heart building. Daddy and granddaddy and Mr. Morrison did most of the work. They had some others, but they did the electricity. Also my father, well he was in World War I and somewhere or other, he learned the electricity trade and he and Mr. Morrison Brinkman set out the first electricity in Southport with the poles.

CARSON: Did your grandmother and grandfather actually live in the Crimes of the Heart house?

Marlowe: They lived in the Crimes of the Heart house.

Carson: And you lived across from where the old Sacred Heart Catholic Church was?

Marlowe: No, we lived on Lord Street across the street from the Crime of the Heart building. I don’t know who lives there now. Well it’s the second house from the corner, but at that time, that lot was facing.

Carson: Was that next to the Myna St. George?

Marlowe: The house next to Miss St. George was Captain _____ house. He was a Norwegian that came here. He traveled a lot. We were neighbors.

Carson: The house was located diagonally across from the public library.

Interviewer: What year was it the electricity put in?

Marlowe: I don’t know.

Carson: Our first plant started operating about 1912. Then your dad became an undertaker.

Marlowe: That broke my grandfather’s heart because at the time my grandfather was coroner and he was in that business, but daddy wanted a business of his own instead of working with his granddaddy so he took a course in being an undertaker and this is kind of awful to say, but my father’s first person was my grandfather. Anyway mother and daddy, we all moved away from here, but I come back to Southport ever since.

Carson: See that house was not there. There was a store there, a building, you don’t know Gibby Wilson, but right next to where you live, remember there was a two story store facing on Moore Street. That was torn down. In Bill Reeve’s chronology it tells about who was there. They did that quite often in Southport, there would be a business downstairs and the family would live upstairs. I think that’s a custom that’s coming back, especially in the historic district in Wilmington you know.

Well I got here as fast as I could as I tell people. I was two years old. I was born out in Supply, but my mother wanted to live in the city and my dad, he had a sawmill and he wanted to stay in the country. Momma won out so we moved to town when I was two years old and my brother and sister were born in Southport. I’ve been here ever since then except for two or three years after I first got married and moved away and then came back.

I wanted to get these together so we could tell you some of our interesting experiences in school since we stayed together all that time. We had some wonderful times. Do you remember some of the plays we put on on the old Southport High School stage? We were very dramatic. Every time we turned around, we were having a play of some kind. Either we would write it and put it on or else we would just, what was the name, Samuel French. We would get some of their outdated plays that we didn't have to pay a royalty on.

We had a teacher named Marita Sasser that encouraged us to do these things. In fact we came out of high school with so much knowledge about grammar and English literature and all, people thought we’d been to college already but we hadn’t then. Some of us didn't go at all. But I brought the songbook and I was going to make them sing with me, but they wouldn’t do that, they’re bashful.

We had such songs as Long, Long Ago and Flow Gently Sweet Afton and Sweet and Low, do you remember those and Lord’s Old Sweet Song, I know you remember that. Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, oh they were wonderful. Believe it or not, we could reach all those high notes.

It has the Star-Spangled Banner in here too and we could reach those. Well I don’t believe, oh yes, we sang the chorus and Ellen McMillan played it (laughter). We didn't know it was from Verdi’s opera, we just sang whatever. And Keep the Home Fires Burning. See when we were in school, back in the early days, World War I had not faded from the memory of the people so we were still singing those.

Interviewee: When Johnny Comes Marching Home.

Carson: Oh yes, When Johnny Comes Marching Home and America the Beautiful, Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean, remember that one. And Juanita, do you remember that. Oh, we took our time in singing that. We’d draw it out so long.

Marlowe: We had a classmate somewhere along there named Juanita Peters.

Carson: Yes, we did and she finally got married and moved to Texas. I haven’t heard from here in a long, long time. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, we did that.

Interviewee: We did that one with gusto.

Carson: (Laughter) Yes we did, that is so true.

Interviewee: My mother had a book just like that one and I played every one of them.

Carson: I bet you did and I bet you could sing all of them too.

Interviewee: She had me sing Loch Lomond, it was her favorite, that and Andy Laura, I had to sing too.

Carson: Well Andy Laura, I remember.

Interviewee: I always asked Maizel to play that for me.

Carson: Oh, I wish she could have come today, but there’s so many of these. I got this book from the woman who was superintendent of schools, not when we graduated, but soon after that. I don’t know, maybe she was superintendent.

Interviewee: Miss Annie May.

Carson: She was superintendent of public schools in Brunswick County, the only woman that ever served in that capacity in North Carolina. She gave me this book in her later years. She’s wouldn’t throw anything anyway like your mom so I was the beneficiary of that. So I’ve saved it all these years.

Interviewer: What was her name?

Carson: Annie May Woodside. I wanted to say this so one of these days I’ll make them sing with me when we’ve got a piano.

Interviewer: How many people were in your class?

Carson: We graduated with 24. We had six boys…wait a minute, it was twice as many girls as there were boys. Every two of us had one of the boys (laughter). We had some wonderful teachers too. They taught all the subjects that we had. We had to have 16 units to graduate and we only nine months of school, but we got a good education in that length of time. We had 11 grades and nine months of school.

We graduated in April of 1937 cause I remember, do you remember we couldn’t sing Tis June Time of Roses, Waiting for our Daisy Chain. We had to sing It Was Spring, The Time of Flowers. Our daisy chain was made of wisteria. That was a beautiful thing. We had to say flowers instead of roses.

Interviewer: What did you wear for graduation?

Carson: We wore caps and gowns for everything but class night. We wore long dresses for that. For our daisy chain as they called it then, we wore long dresses. Mine was made of dotted Swiss. What was yours made of?

Interviewee: Sorry you ask.

Carson: Mary made mine for me.

Marlowe: Mine was dotted Swiss too Susan, pink with white dots.

Carson: Mine was white with I guess it was orangey looking dots. Oh and she mentioned the prom. We didn't have what they actually call a prom, but we had a junior senior banquet. Tell them where we had the banquet.

Interviewee: In the Army Navy building.

Carson: In the gymnasium, yes.

Interviewee: We were still doing that 20 years later, exactly the same thing. The freshmen did the serving because I was the head waitress.

Second Interviewer: How big was your class?

Interviewee: Mine was 32, it was the largest class ever to graduate from Southport High School. We had 32 in ’54.

Carson: And when we had the banquet, of course the juniors and seniors would sit at these long tables together and they paired us off, a junior boy had to bring a senior girl. So we’d all have escorts because I probably wouldn’t have had one (laughter). But anyway we all had to have an escort. Then after the banquet, we didn't have any way of dancing so we’d go to the homes of various people. We’d all go to the same one and stay around for a while and have some more refreshments.

Interviewee: Things were very limited.

Carson: They were, but we had such a good time. I didn't know about all this other stuff.

Interviewee: There was not that much choice. In Southport we didn't have cars, we walked everywhere.

Carson: So when the thing was over, we just went home and behaved ourselves very nicely.

Interviewee: Well we were never afraid to go anywhere in Southport at night. We could always walk.

Carson: Always left our front doors open.

Interviewee: The safest place in the world.

Carson: Were you in the group that used to go sit under the light pole down on the garrison and we’d sit around there and sing songs and some of the popular songs of the day. There was a Hit Parade magazine by that time that was being published I guess by some of the music companies. They just had the words to the songs on the Lucky Strike Hit Parade.

But we’d take those and sit under the light and sing. Of course all of us had to go home by 11:00, but we’d sit down there and sing things from this and that. What was the one about, oh I can’t remember, Red Sails in the Sunset. That was a favorite one. Oh all those sad ones, you know, about how our loved ones were so far away.

Interviewee: Harbor Lights.

Carson: Oh Harbor Lights, yes, we sang that definitely.

Interviewee: That was popular when I was in high school.

Carson: Well see we left it over for you people. We just had a great time. We didn't know we were sort of underprivileged or anything.

Marlowe: I thought we came up at one of the best times. All through school, we were all so close. We weren’t just best friends, we were more like brothers and sisters. We all cared for one another. That was a wonderful class that we came from.

Interviewee: That’s what the Depression did for us.

Carson: That’s right.

Interviewee: Good comes out of everything so the Depression made us even closer.

Carson: That’s right, the Depression started when we were in third grade and carried on beyond the time we got out of high school so we knew how hard it was to get up enough money to buy our class rings and our class pins. I remember our class ring cost $7.00 and it took me a long time to get together that $7.00 to get my ring.

Interviewee: Like gym shoes.

Carson: We wore just plain old tennis shoes.

Interviewee: We went into black and white gym clothes for basketball, it was like you get a pop in the face in the middle of the night, it dawns on you, you have to have black and white shoes. Then you start wondering where on earth is that coming from. But you end up with all that.

Carson: Well they wouldn’t let me play ball because I couldn’t hit the basket. They let me do the cheerleading over there.

Interviewee: You’re still a good cheerleader, Susan (laughter).

Carson: We did take physical education believe it or not when we were in the seventh grade and we had Mr. Harvey Radcliff. He would take us out in the park where Franklin Square Park is now and do us all these gymnastics out there. A little bit later, Ruth Hood took all us girls in the auditorium and we learned folk dancing. That was great fun. Do you remember when we did the Virginia Reel, the minuet and the polka.

Interviewee: We had green shorts and tops.

Carson: I can’t remember. I know that I had to wear tennis shoes and I polished mine every night whether they needed it or not. It got so they were so thick with white shoe polish that they never would have worn out and I wish I had kept those (laughter). But instead of washing them, I polished them or put white polish on them and it soaked into that material. I never had to wash them, they just got thicker and thicker (laughter).

Interviewer: Since none of the boys came today, you mentioned that by the time you graduated that there were two girls for each boy. Was it a matter of the boys dropping out along the way and going to work or what?

Carson: Well we just didn't plain tell them about today. I’m embarrassed that we didn't try to round up some of them. Some still live in Southport, Lawrence Willing, Samuel Holden, Jack Hickman. Some of them are still here.

Interviewer: But when you started out all together, it was probably about the same, same number of boys.

Carson: Well I never have counted that up, but somewhere along the way, some of them would drop out and move away and others would come in so there’s very few of us that started together that finished together. We’d pick them up hither and yon.

The one that we’re talking about that couldn’t come today caught us in the sixth grade. She moved here, her father was sheriff of Brunswick County and she moved here from somewhere else. From Bolivia and went to school with us until we graduated.

Second Interviewer: What kind of classes, courses did you have in high school?

Carson: Let’s see, we had English literature, French, geometry, algebra. We had history and geography. We had an actual course in geography and history.

Marlowe: We had home ec.

Carson: Yeah, we had home economics, it was an elective and general business was an elective, wasn’t it, cause I remember taking general business cause mostly boys were in there. The basic ones were the math, the literature and history and geography. Those were the ones we had to take and the others we chose what we wanted.

One of the most rewarding things to me and I don’t know if these were in it, do you remember taking the dramatics class that Miss Sasser took. I took that.

Interviewee: Yes, cause I remember the plays.

Interviewee: Samuel and I managed to get in everyone of them because the dressing rooms on each side of the stage were well made. The doors were solid and you get that dang giggle all you wanted to and out front they couldn’t hear you.

Carson: Sometimes they’d miss their cue to come in too. Somebody had to go knock on the door and tell them it was time for them to go on stage.

Rogers: And at pomegranate time, you could lean out the window. The lady that owned the block didn't know that we were snitching pomegranates right out the window.

Carson: She lived in the old Dr. W. G. Curtis house before it was torn down and that of course was right back of the schoolhouse. She was not very pleasant when they would do things like that. She didn't like it.

Interviewee: I don’t remember ever really seeing her. She just stayed at home all the time.

Carson: I can remember…

Marlowe: When Robert and I moved into ____, moved in the corner house, we’d go by every day.

Carson: I don’t remember much about her except during the time that the waterway was being cut through, I was friends with one of the women who rented a room from her. Her father was working on the dredge and he brought Lucille or whatever her name was with her. I used to go visiting over there.

I remember one day I was looking at some chandeliers or something and she made one of the ugliest remarks to me. I was just a little old kid and we didn't have chandeliers in our house so I thought it was outstanding and I wanted to see it. I forgot what she said to me, but it hurt my feelings. I remember getting ready to cry before I left to go home.

Interviewee: What I remember about her is a terrible thing to say, but it’s good enough that you don’t want to lose track. My father came home one day and it was such an unusual thing to see her on the street. Anything that he knew would make people laugh, he’d always tell me. He’d say, “Honey, guess who I saw today”. I said I didn't know. He said, “I saw Miss Rappagate down by Willie Ford’s and guess what. Her shoe heels are still staring at her in the face”.

It’s a terrible thing to say about a person, but I laughed for an hour thinking about somebody’s shoes. So that’s mostly…and her mouth.

Interviewee: And she dressed funny too.

Interviewee: Yes, she was extremely ugly to us if we stole from her which we did.

Carson: She had come here from Atlantic City, New Jersey where her husband had, I don’t know if it was a hotel or something because her son used to tell me. George Rappagate used to tell me about the days when he lived there.

They had a vaudeville actors like when Al Jolson was in vaudeville and Eddie Cantor and I forgot how many others. He would tell me about knowing them and that his father bought a movie camera when that became the thing to do like video cameras today and he made a lot of movies. When the older Mr. Rappagate died and left her as a widow with this one son, they came to Southport. I don’t know how they found out about it.

They started an electric plant out near what we call old Smithville cemetery, in that area. Eventually it was sold to the city of Southport and became the one that the city operated and probably where your daddy did the electrical stuff.

Interviewee: He was something of an inventor too, wasn’t he?

Carson: Oh yes he was.

Interviewee: You could smell these awful things coming from that house.

Marlowe: He went to New Orleans.

Interviewee: I don’t know what he did what that molasses.

Carson: Well I’ll tell you because I know.

Interviewee: When I was in high school, he was making that.

Carson: He came back here after World War II. He was in service during both wars. After the war, he came back here and lived in the house across the street from Toby Thompson. They tore that down and another house is built there. He developed the process for making what he called plasmafault. It was a plastic material from molasses and corrugated cardboard and a secret ingredient that I didn't even know about and I did his typing.

Interviewee: Special sauce (laughter).

Interviewee: You did his typing for him.

Carson: I did his typing, that’s how he told me about it. Then he finally went to Cuba with that and they built, he got the idea from the adobe houses in the southwest. He went onto Cuba and built a lot of little houses with the sugarcane workers. Then he finally had a big plant in New Orleans, near the airport in New Orleans.

But what I was doing for him had to do with, I don’t remember if it was the Navy or the Marine Corps, but the idea was to use the material to stabilize the beaches to do beachhead landings. That was a fascinating study.

Interviewee: The little house that the Rappagates lived down there on the corner was the union headquarters after the war.

Carson: I was so sorry when that was torn down because it was a very interesting little house.

Interviewee: Do you remember the fence around the house? Looked like a little picket fence except they were jammed together and they were pointed, like a fort out west like the Injuns had done it.

Carson: It had the kitchen and dining room detached from the house and they had a little breezeway to connect it to the main part of the house.

Interviewee: Most houses did then, even the big ones. That was to keep the danger of fire down plus cut down on the odors.

Carson: But I just loved that house and I probably would have bought it, but at the time that he needed to sell it. I didn't have any money, don’t have much now, but I couldn’t do the work that was needed. I could have handled the payments, but I couldn’t have handled the work that was needed to fix it up because he and his wife had gone, by then they had gone to New Orleans and they didn't have the water pipes drained and they had frozen one winter and ruined the kitchen and one of the other rooms. I didn't have the money to get it repaired so I didn't buy it, but I wish I could have.

Interviewer: Since the old Southport High School is gone, you mentioned you started school in what’s now the …

Carson: Franklin Square Gallery.

Interviewer: Franklin Square Gallery, give us a little chronology of how long you went there and then when you went to the high school and what happened at the high school.

Carson: Maybe they can correct me. The building that we call the Franklin Square Gallery now was built in 1904 pretty much like it is now except for the front. It didn't have that colonial façade. It had just a regular old porch where the school bell was. It was built for a schoolhouse. Later on just before we started, some time before we started, they had to build two wings on it, one on the side next to the Masonic Building, one on the side next to West Street.

We started the school on the West Street side and second grade on the gymnasium side and in the third grade, we got to go upstairs. Now if you don’t think we felt like we were something. It was up there that the janitor rang the school bell and remember how he let us hang on the ropes. He was very good to us so we could hang on the ropes. We thought we were really something.

Rogers: He held on to the controls.

Carson: Yeah, Charlie Lee.

Interviewee: We started school in the fourth grade when the brand new high school was built.

Carson: That’s right, we went over to fourth grade in what we called the new building. Well we got over there in about ’29.

Interviewer: Was that all 12 grades then?

Carson: No, we didn't have but 11. Then we had 11. I don’t remember when they brought the first three grades over. We went over there when we were in the fourth grade, but they still had first, second and third in the old building.

Interviewee: But momma graduated in that new building.

Carson: But they still kept three of the grades over.

Interviewee: I know my brothers started…

Carson: My brother and sister did too.

Interviewee: I have the first yearbook when they had school in the Army Navy club also. I have the yearbook from that and also the first yearbook from Southport High School.

Carson: At one time they referred to it as Southport Academy.

Interviewer: Why was your school in the Army Navy building?

Carson: I think our parents didn't really have enough room. See we didn't…well before 1904, they had to have school in there, but I can’t remember the exact chronology.

Interviewer: When you started, where was the high school?

Carson: Well before we started as far as I know, everybody did everything in that one building.

Interviewee: I thought some of the classes may have been in the Army Navy building.

Carson: They were.

Interviewee: Cause my mother was older than they were and she graduated I think in the first class from Southport High School.

Carson: I can’t remember exactly when in Dr. Lee’s book about Brunswick County, it tells when that bond issue passed and the five schools in the county were built.

HUFFAM: One of the books that I have tells all about that, tells all about the bond issue and everything.

Carson: Wow, I’ve got to have that Trudy. She is a treasure house. She saves all these things.

HUFFAM: My mother saved these things and my aunt Esther saved things.

Carson: Well I wished we’d had today’s session before I wrote Joshua’s Dream. If we had it would be a lot thicker than it is.

Interviewer: When did the high school burn?

Carson: In 1967 I believe. It was while my daughter was in college. I’d have to look that up, but I believe it was ’67. My daughter started the first grade and finished in that building and she had the same first grade teacher that I did.

Interviewee: She taught a lot of Southport kids.

Interviewee: She started many, many children on the road to knowledge, Mary Lee did.

Carson: And believe it or not, we learned to read before we left that room no matter what. She didn't have anything other than little flashcards, no teaching aids. Do you remember that little box of seed corn that she had that we learned to count by using seeds of corn. And we learned it too. She wouldn’t let us out until we did.

Carson: Yeah, we were her first.

Interviewer: They say as the twig bends, so grows the tree so I guess you’re all good examples of how effective she was.

Carson: Well she was very effective.

Interviewee: That was her first year of teaching. We sent out a tree, a magnolia, because oh, she was a vain little darling and you couldn’t get more Southern than Mary Lee. So we planted a magnolia over in the area directly in front of where we marched in up the stairs in that corner of the park over there we hoped.

Interviewer: Is it still there?

Interviewee: It has not gotten the attention Chris that it should have had. It should have been larger. We also went in the corner of the yard at the post office and planted a tree, a crepe myrtle because our last homeroom teacher who has just recently passed away was named Myrtle. We had her in ’37 so we put one there too. If you see a crepe myrtle blooming in the fall, you’ll know it’s Myrtle, class of ’37.

Interviewee: She taught us home economics and also that was her first year of teaching.

Carson: Yeah, that’s right and she married one of our classmates. Gus Swan. Do we have time to tell about our recreation?

Interviewer: We’re here as long as you want.

Carson: Well we don’t want to overdue this. Where did we play?

Interviewee: Oh, we played in the park.

Carson: And remember the swings. We had the giant stride ride and the old swings on each side of the building.

Interviewee: We drank water from the old pump thing.

Carson: And our restrooms were outdoors. They were back of the school building. Do I remember correctly, that was a building we had with a boys section and a girls section. We had flush toilets, but they were outdoors. They weren’t outdoors, they were in a separate building.

Interviewee: We only had three classrooms in that building. Was there another one, it seems like we had two sections of one class.

Carson: I can’t remember that.

Interviewee: We had so many in one of our classes that we had to divide them.

Carson: That’s where we lost some of them and then we got back together before we graduated. We picked up some of the others that came in after that. I want to write down the ones, there were 11 of us that started school together that graduated together.

Interviewee: We counted those up not too long ago, that was 10 minutes ago, so it’s gone now (laughter).

Carson: Dan Clemmons was one of them I remember. He’s dead and several of them…

Interviewee: Are you going to autograph my books?

Carson: Oh yes, I want to as a part of this, I’d like two autograph two copies of Joshua’s Dream for her two brothers who are old Southport boys. Is that alright if I do that?

Interviewee: And live way down south in the bayou.

Interviewer: I want to hear about Southport, what did it look like, what were the streets like, how wide were they?

Carson: Not very wide. There was an awful lot of sand and sand spurs.

Interviewee: Narrow roads because we didn't have very many cars in those days. Two lanes, but there was a lot of dirt between the road and the sidewalk.

Carson: And there were a lot of trees. The oaks grew.

Second Interviewer: Which roads were paved in 1937?

Carson: Well Howe Street and Moore Street, they are the only two I remember.

Interviewer: What did the waterfront look like?

Carson: Wait a minute, we had a lot of sidewalks that were paved, but not the actual roads. Well you tell them what the waterfront looked like.

Interviewee: Well at that time the best I remember cause I was country, I lived two miles out and stayed at the lake to play basketball so I didn't get a chance to run up and down the thing, but very much to my estimation about the biggest attraction that has disappeared was the bridge that went over the garrison and joined …

Carson: Wayne Berry…

Rogers: Of course the pilot tower has changed. Most of the homes are sort of there. Although when our class, folks of our age think of the waterfront, we think of Mac’s, the USO. Of course Mac’s hasn’t really changed that much. The USO is gone. The pilot tower has changed. If you were in a boat and you were riding up and down, you would see very much of what was there then, the little places like Mac’s and the USO.

Interviewer: Was the pavilion there?

Carson: Yes, the pavilion was there. It was not in very good shape. I just can’t remember.

Interviewee: The picture that you have looking back on the Kate Stewart and the Bay Street front, that was very much alive at the time that we were in school along there. The Kate Stewart house and the pavilion had not deteriorated to the point.

Carson: We remember those twin cottages that were the Galloway cottages that were right down at the foot of what they called Ellis Street, Fort Johnson, where the bridge was. Now all along the waterfront we had lots of docks and shrimp houses and fish houses. It was a real junky looking place.

Marlowe: They also made nets at the end of Howe Street over to the right, they made the fish nets.

Second Interviewer: You’re describing picturesque.

Carson: Yes, but it sure furnished the people in town a place to make a living.

Interviewee: Speaking of fish nets, they used to have these enormous rocks down…

(Tape ends here)

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